The number of electric and hybrid cars on the road continues to increase as motorists are attracted by cheaper fuel bills and greener alternatives to petrol and diesel vehicles.
In turn, garages are now using the latest diagnostic technology to offer MOTs, servicing and repair of electric and hybrid cars alongside their traditional services for fuel-driven vehicles.
The growth of the electric and hybrid car market
According to DrivingElectric.com, electric car sales rose from 7704 in September 2019 to 21,903 in September 2020. That’s an amazing 184% increase that looks set to continue.
66,611 pure-electric cars have been sold in the UK in 2020 compared to 25,097 by the same point in 2019, which reflects a 165% increase.
Meanwhile, 12,400 plug-in hybrid cars were registered in September 2020, an increase of 138% on September 2019. The plug-in hybrid market has seen a rise of 83.7% year-to-date, as 42,277 have been registered in 2020 compared to 23,015 at the same point in 2019.
Currently, the most popular fully electric car is the Tesla Model 3 while the most popular hybrids on the market are the Toyota Prius and Yaris, Volvo XC90 and Kia Niro. At this point in 2020, the total share of pure-electric cars in the new car market stands at 6.7%.
Differences in electric and hybrid car servicing
Many aspects of a mechanical car service are the same for electric and hybrids, but there are also some fundamental differences.
A hybrid car would still require oil and filter changes, essential fluids top ups and checks of brakes, steering and suspension.
A diagnostic health check could include checks on:
- Charging port and high voltage cables
- Inverter coolant
- Brake binding
- Battery health
A complete service would cover all areas of essential maintenance. However, a pure electric car does not have parts such as a gear box, clutch, exhaust, catalytic converter, starter motor, etc. hence the service is simpler in many ways.
The difference in MOTs for electric cars
An electric car does still need to undergo an annual roadworthiness check after it is three years old.
No emissions test is required, but the electric vehicle will still be checked to ensure the following are in good order:
- Brake pads and discs.
- Lights: headlights are checked to ensure they’re aligned correctly and at the right brightness, height and distance from the other headlights.
- Windscreen (check for chips and cracks).
- Windscreen wipers.
- Steering: check for wear and tear, each wheel spins freely.
- Tyres (legal minimum depth tread).
- Shock absorbers.
The vehicle will also be checked for corrosion. This includes rust on any vital mounting points and brackets, sills and hinges, under the bonnet and under the car, to ensure everything is in a suitable condition and not corroded.
Are you looking for a reliable garage to carry out a MOT, service or repair of your electric or hybrid vehicle?
Hester's Garage in Fleet offers service and repair of electric and hybrid cars.
Visit our website http://hestersgaragefleet.co.uk/or phone 01252 614231 to find out more.